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API Management

Change Healthcare: Building an API marketplace for the healthcare industry

Editor's note: Today we hear from Gautam M. Shah, Vice President, API and Marketplaces at Change Healthcare, one of the largest independent healthcare technology companies in the United States. Change Healthcare provides data and analytics-driven solutions and services that address the three greatest needs in healthcare today: Reducing costs, achieving better outcomes, and creating a more interconnected healthcare system. 

Healthcare is a rapidly evolving industry. There is an urgent need to bridge gaps and connect multiple data sources, transactions, data owners and data users to improve all parts of the healthcare system. At Change Healthcare, we are rethinking and transforming how we approach our products and how we use APIs to achieve this goal. Taking a user-centered, outside-in approach, we identify, develop, and productize “quanta of value” within our portfolio (“quanta,” the plural of “quantum,” refers to small but crucial pockets of value). 

We connect and integrate those quanta into our own and our partners’ products to create a broader set of more impactful solutions. This approach to creating productized APIs enables us to bridge workflows and remove data silos. We bundle productized APIs to power solutions which open new possibilities for powering exceptional patient experiences, enhancing patient outcomes, and optimizing payer and provider workflows and efficiencies. 

To support this goal, we needed a way to support a large population of API producers, engage several segments of API consumers, and rethink how we bring API products to market at scale. We aren’t just delivering code; we’re creating and managing a broad product portfolio throughout its lifecycle. We take our APIs from planning, design, and operation through evolution and to retirement. 

Operating these products requires meeting the needs of many API producers, allowing for marketing and product enablement, supporting different distribution channels and pricing, and enabling rapid product and solution creation. We also have to do all of this while prioritizing security and requiring a minimum of added platform development or customization. In short, we need an enterprise marketplace enablement platform. We chose the Apigee API Management Platform because it allows us to do all this.

Why Apigee?
Change Healthcare is building a marketplace to advance API usage across the healthcare ecosystem. This marketplace, the API & Services Connection, is a destination where our internal users, customers, partners, and the healthcare ecosystem can readily discover, interact with, and consume our broad portfolio of clinical, financial, operational, and patient experience products and solutions in a secure, simple, and scalable manner.

Using Google Cloud’s enterprise-class Apigee API Management Platform to power our marketplace allows us to support our entire organization with a standard set of tools, patterns, and processes. Using these common, and in some cases, pre-established, sets of security, performance, and operation standards frees our API producers from worrying about the mechanics of how to deploy their products, and allows them to focus on creating the best possible solutions. It also provides us with robust proxy development and management capabilities, allowing us to access and distribute existing APIs and assets, thereby eliminating the need for complex migrations.

We empower our diverse mix of API producers by leveraging the full range of Apigee capabilities to automate engagement, integrate with different development methods, support visibility of products and pricing models, and measure usage, engagement, and adoption. By taking a “self-service first” approach, we allow our API producers to operate in line with their business processes and needs of the enterprise, while at the same time giving them the tools and metrics they need to create and optimize their products. 

We also use the Apigee bundling capabilities to allow our producers to easily create and productize API bundles, which are then used to develop solutions that incorporate leading-edge technologies to solve more complex problems. 

Our customer-facing marketplace makes the most of how Apigee supports distribution of APIs to multiple marketplaces, including a fully customizable developer portal. This capability gives us the ability to build private API user communities, create experiences for multiple customer segments, and distribute our APIs across multiple storefronts. 

Apigee lets us do all this while maintaining a common enterprise platform from which to control availability, monetization, and monitoring. In this way we can distribute our API assets internally and also allow our API producers to target how they want to manage their API products externally. Producers also benefit from rich engagement and usage data to better segment and target product availability, and pricing. Apigee also supports creating a more immersive and interactive experience for API consumers, enabling us to provide technical and marketing documentation, a sandbox, and connections to our product teams and other users.

Fulfilling a bold vision
At Change Healthcare, we believe APIs are the present and the future. Today, our APIs power our products and enable us to serve the needs of the entire healthcare ecosystem. Looking forward, our APIs will power growth by enabling internal users to take advantage of valuable capabilities we’ve created, as well as make those capabilities easily available to external users. Armed with these productized APIs, our developers, customers, partners—ultimately all parts of the ecosystem—will be able to deliver new and innovative products that combine interoperable data, differentiated experiences, optimized workflows, and new technologies such as AI and blockchain.

We’re just getting started with APIs! We’ve launched the first version of the API & Services Connection developer portal, and now have a standard method of engagement with our API producers and a place to drive internal visibility and external discovery. Our partnership with Apigee works well for us because we can demonstrate that we share the same goals internally and externally, and ultimately use the same set of tools to drive transformation. As our vision becomes a reality, we look forward to engaging not only more of our internal teams, but our partners and customers as well. Together we will use APIs to break down silos in healthcare, and ultimately create a more interoperable healthcare system for patients, providers, and payers. 

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